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AM I THE LUCKIEST GUY IN THE WORLD?

This question occurred to me the day after I'd returned from a totally ineffective weekend of Division 6 Stock Eliminator drag racing. We worked so hard to make the event at our home track, only to be laid low by a problem that we were unable to diagnose and fix in time to compete. Our mighty Savoy was running two seconds and 20 mph slow and we had to find out why before we could race.

My partner and crew chief, Mike Brenno AKA Dr. Big Block, put on a virtual clinic on "How to be a Good Sport While Taking the Car Apart at the Race Track" while I bought every quart of Type FA transmission fluid and Mobile One 5W30 synthetic motor oil within five miles of the place, to no avail. My wife and kids brought us two spare torque converters from home and our friends loaned us whatever tools and assistance we needed but we still ended up screwing the pooch. We finally just sat in the stands drinking beer while all the other Stockers ran the final qualifying session of the event. We kept a good face on but we were very disappointed as we loaded up the wagon and headed for home. We didn't have the heart to stay and watch eliminations.

When we got home we unloaded the wagon and drove it onto the lift. After spending two days lying on asphalt with the car on jack stands, the lift was dreamy, "car goes up, car goes down, car goes up, car goes down"; we were practically giggling as we swapped the tranny out. It was so easy that it didn't even bug us much when it turned out that the transmission had nothing to do with the problem. If we had actually gone to the trouble of swapping transmissions at the track and it didn't fix the problem I can guarantee we would have lost whatever shreds were left of our good humor. Eventually we figured out that the cam had been installed in the wrong position. Fortunately, it didn't cause damage to the motor but obviously it slowed us down quite a bit. We had no one to blame but ourselves - you're always supposed to degree in the cam. Some lessons you just have to learn the hard way!

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